The tour of&nbsp;<em>Let It Be</em>&nbsp;is at the Music Hall at Fair Park and then Bass Performance Hall

Review: Let It Be | Dallas Summer Musicals | Music Hall at Fair Park

Day Tripper Alert

Beatles fans young and old just can’t Let It Be in another nostalgic homage to this most influential and beloved band at Dallas Summer Musicals.

published Sunday, March 12, 2017

Photo: Paul Coltas
The tour of Let It Be is at the Music Hall at Fair Park and then Bass Performance Hall



Dallas — It’s only been a few years since we all clapped our hands at the resurrection of the Fab Four in Rain in its touring production at the Music Hall in Fair Park. Now we have a similar nostalgia-nourishing show that originated in London and opened on Broadway in 2013. The current touring show, mounted by Annerin Productions, is stopping at the Dallas Summer Musicals through March 19, and moving to Bass Hall in Fort Worth from March 21 to 26.

Let It Be: A Celebration of the Music of the Beatles opens with the band’s famed appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, followed by the Shea Stadium concert in 1965. TV monitors on either side of the stage crackle with familiar old black and white footage of teenagers collapsing in seizures of adolescent ecstasy when the band sings early hits, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Help!” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” Then Paul sings his swoon-inducing “Yesterday,” and female rock-lovers young and old sigh in unison.

Photo: Paul Coltas
The tour of Let It Be

The band had virtually everybody who could stand in the Music Hall on their feet and clapping hands to “Day Tripper” within a half hour of the first drum riff. Admittedly, the guys did a lot of urging, but it paid off. This crowd came ready to rock and remember. They just needed some clear cue-ins, including when to sway with your phone lights held high and when to join in a familiar chorus. Not concert-spontaneous, but still fun to move to the beat.

The four musicians in the show form a first-rate cover band, and are solid musicians in their own right, although Let It Be doesn’t strive as much for physical look-alikes as earlier Beatles tribute shows I’ve seen. Neil Candelora looks the most like a young Paul McCartney, and has a sweet smile and clear tenor on solos.

I knew Chris McBurney was Ringo Star because he was playing drums. Duh. JT Curtis, wigged and mustached as George Harrision, plays a mean guitar, especially in his big solo number in Act II, but he looks like a plumper Paul and appeared stiff and uncomfortable moving around the stage during all the numbers. Michael Gagliano singing John Lennon’s parts is better in ensemble than in solo, although he delivered a clear and strong “Imagine,” a powerful anthem that calls for simplicity. Short and stocky, Gagliano instantly becomes more convincing after the group moves to later works, when John has long hair and his trademark white suit, and singing “Come Together.”

For me, the show’s highlight is the Sgt. Pepper set toward the end of the second act, when the band delivers the goods in their brilliant rainbow-colored costumes. The haze in the air diffuses appearance, and all you hear is the sequence of still-edgy music and lyrics. “A Day in the Life” has colored strobes and front-facing lights and felt like a real head-trip.

The second act purports to bring us the show the Beatles never performed, an imaginary reunion concert that took place in 1980. The band played their last live show in 1969, made more music together, and eventually broke up and the members went their separate ways, musically. To this point, the show moves chronologically through the albums. In Act II the songs are selected from their careers together and apart. Great songs include “Back in the U.S.S.R,” “Live and Let Die,” and other less familiar songs. Everybody sang along to “Hey Jude” and were happily led through four swaying choruses of  ”Let It Be.”

Even the darker songs in the Beatles songbook are ultimately hopeful. Perhaps their enduring popularity and continued fan base, generations later, is not only because of their melodious originality, but also because of their essential optimism about humanity’s ability to discover beauty and love in the world and each other. 

Hearing the old songs is a boot to the heart and soul in these trying, unpredictable times. Ironically, while we know John Lennon’s own life was cut short by a crazed assassin, for the duration of the song at least, we believe along with the singer that “everything’s gonna be alright.” Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Day Tripper Alert
Beatles fans young and old just can’t Let It Be in another nostalgic homage to this most influential and beloved band at Dallas Summer Musicals.
by Martha Heimberg

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :